A revolution in Africa's fashion industry

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October 5, 2010 – It was a four-day fashion affair at the Alliance Francais from Thursday into the weekend. The third edition of the annual African Fashion Fair- to be precise- went down and it had so much to offer designers and other stakeholders (fashion and training colleges) from all over Africa.

African designers (the likes of Rialto fashion, Kiko Romeo, Vaishali, Zulu creations, Rahemtulla among others) got a chance to showcase their work to Africa and the rest of the world. This they did to try and maintain avenues for African fashion and the textile industry at a regional and international level as the fashion fair offers designers an opportunity to make their garments accessible to the ordinary fashion lover in terms of availability, affordability, functionality and practicality.

Lucy Rao, the event orgainser was proud of the turn out especially at the gala night on Thursday which had the first fashion show. “I’m so happy that all of you turned up here tonight to celebrate the African fashion fair with us. This is the third year running and already there’s so much progress. This year many more people are appreciating what we are doing and have come out from all over to support African fashion. We have so much to offer all of you and I hope you enjoy the next three days that follow.Be ready to see fashion for all shapes and sizes fit for the African woman.”

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The African fashion industry has many challenges. One being that it is relatively underdeveloped, and falls short of delivering unique, affordable designs suited to dress Africans. Also that the industry lacks unified vision and dynamism and is easily being taken over by cheap replicas stolen from the very designers it is supposed to serve. The African fashion fair was intended to do away with this perception.

As the name suggests designers from all over Africa (Benin, Cameroon, Senegal, Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Rwanda) showcased their designs for this cause. The French ambassador who was also present at the opening gala night was impressed with what the The African Fashion Fair is doing. “It gives me joy to see this event in its third year. Such talented designers from all over Africa have turned up with their beautiful creations for this worthy cause. I’m happiest to see the progress made every year and I hope this is kept up for many years to come.”

The fair brought together fashion houses, freelance designers and Fashion design institutions to give the fashion industry a jump start because the services necessary to support a thriving industry like mass production, fashion marketing & PR, fashion photography are beyond the reach of many designers; if they don’t have major financial backing.

From daily fashion shows and exhibitions, to workshops and seminars for designers and the general public, the sale of designer clothes at reasonable prices and a competition for all upcoming designers, the fashion fair gave people a lot to consume.

The African fashion fair which supports the Amani ya Juu Foundation, a training project in sewing and marketing for African women who have been affected by wars and ethnic conflicts, managed to give something back to society by making a contribution to the project which is part of their vision.

Check out more pics in our gallery

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  • Junaid Jamshed

    Appreciate the info, it’s good to know.

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